Style and Comfort

5 Additional Girls Guide Tips for Traveling in Europe in Style and Comfort

A trip to Europe is on the agenda of many high school and college students. Here are a few additional tips to consider, no matter what your age.

  1. Be aware of different business hours, especially banks!

In Europe, businesses, especially banks, are conducted at different hours that we are used to in the United States. For example, many banks are only open from 8 AM to 4 PM; with a long lunch break in between. In addition, in Spain, most businesses close mid-afternoon for a siesta. However, with the exception of banks, most reopen for the evening. When you arrive at your destination, do a little research into business hours and take care of your money situation right away. With those two pieces of advice, you will never be without cash and won’t be disappointed.

  1. Always utilize your travel time, whether that means time on a plane, train, or bus.

During my semester in Spain, I traveled nearly every weekend. For me, that meant a lot of time on buses and trains. I made the most of it. I used that time to read, listen music, or finalize trip plans. It was also nice to simply write or take in scenery. The point is, make the most of the dead time. It will mean that you can make the most of your trip.

  1. Visit Cathedrals, but you can take in too many at once! The same goes for historic churches.

Europe is filled with historic churches and cathedrals! They are wonderful to visit and the architecture is simply amazing. No two are exactly alike. That having been said, you can do too much of a good thing. By the end of my trip to Spain, I could have cared less as to whether or not I would ever see another cathedral in my life. If you are into visiting cathedrals and churches, just don’t overdue it. Mix it up and go shopping for a day!

  1. Do hit the main sites.

Many college students who are into being non-conventional may wish to skip the Eiffel Tower, the Tower of London, and the like, but such huge tourist attractions are big tourist attractions for a reason. You owe it to yourself to do the touristy thing at least once or twice, just try not to stick out like a sore thumb.

  1. Plan fun, out of the way excursions.

While it is fun visiting the main sites in a city, it also can get boring, especially after a full day or two of doing the touristy thing. There is so much more to Europe than what is in the guidebooks! For example, I was in Cáceres, Spain during Valentine’s Day 2002. I decided to get all dressed up, go to a free play all by myself, and then met up with a bunch of friends at a local hang out. It was a blast! I had the best of both worlds: I spent time alone and then had the time of my life partying with all of my friends. It was a great evening and took very little planning. In many places in Europe, all you need to do is visit a café or small store in order to find out what is going on locally. You won’t be disappointed.

By following the advice given above, you won’t go wrong. You will have a European experience that you won’t soon forget.

Reality TV

Reality TV when the Rubber Meets the Road-Justin.tv An Internet Phenomenon

A camera zooms past some well tended plants, past the well lit exterior of a mansion, and into a well lit glass “closet.” All we hear is a muffled shriek of frustration. Tears dribble down a young woman’s face as she sobs into the phone over the “stupidity” of all the other people she lives with. Something tells us that this may not be “reality” as we know it. Many of us had our share of reality shows such as “Survivor,” “Big Brother” and the countless other spinoffs that pose to be reality shows, but are in essence the concoction of media giants having meticulously designed scripts and editing. Nowadays, the reality show furvor has subsided as fast as we could say “you are voted off the island.”

How then has the recent video account of one typical, tech entrepreneur enflamed viewership upwards of ten thousand people at one time? Especially when this person’s life is utterly “normal,” completely unedited and unscripted, filmed for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week? Justin.tv is a new internet reality TV show that documents the life of Justin Kan for a full 24 hour day. The show differs from previous attempts at reality tv because there is no show editing and the mounted camera on his head enabling anyone to take a look at what is going on in this person’s life at any one time, even while he is sleeping or going to the bathroom. Recent archived clips show Justin talking with friends, eating, or doing mundane tasks like cleaning up empty cans after a party. Why would anyone want to watch someone else’s life when he has his own to live? A recent slogan for the website says it all: “Waste Time Watching Other People Waste Time.”

Kan is the new internet phenomenon and justin.tv a new chat room hub, with people watching the website even while Justin is sleeping for hours at a time. Not all are so patient, however. Much of justin.tv ‘s fame has been fueled by pranksters changing caller ID through their computers to call 9-1-1 on his apartment through his phone, prompting police to burst in the investigate the alleged stabbing. Another time a fire was reported, but the fire trucks were not caught on camera. Now Justin’s telephone number is listed as a potential prank number so that law enforcement confirms if there really is a fire or a crime before dispatching to this phone number. Another prank included ordering 63 dollars worth of pizza hot to his front door.

Other ways to add some spice to Justin’s life to entertain fans is to have “auctions.” For example, a recent bid said that if the website recieved 100 emails within the next 20 minutes, people would jump into a pool fully clothed. The site had 300 emails quite quickly. Other bids include bids for blind dates and an open forum for suggesting Justin to do fan’s requests. Is justin.tv slowly turning from the everyday life phenomenon that made the site famous into the trite “reality” shows on televison that has lost its sense of reality? Tune in to justin.tv to find out for yourself, just be sure its not when Justin is peeing.

On the Way to Amsterdam

On the Way to Amsterdam

As a young pothead in 1999 I had one major thing to look forward to, and that was the Cannabis Cup held in Amsterdam, Holland. This would be my first trip on a plane and just getting there is a story in itself, thus, this travel story.

I awoke at 5 AM, that had not happened in about three years. My bags already packed I go take a shower, and then get my stuff ready. One half of the filthy, nasty, repugnant Anderson Brothers, Jason, picks me up. He receives some bonus money for the trip as do I. My Mommy kisses me bye and then continues to put a damper on the trip by crying, realizing this could be the last time she sees her beautiful baby boy in one piece.

One thing I forgot to pack for my trip were Philly Blunts. I figured they would have them in Amsterdam, and they did, for roughly $15 for two packs.

We eat breakfast at Denny’s. I didn’t have much, getting on a metal tube had me a little nervous even though it was hours away. Jason ate like a hog, he is part hog. I get the squirts at a gas station and use their facilities. Now, we are on our way to Atlanta. Being the spoiled young man with money that I was I would have much rather flown to Atlanta than driven. But the Anderson Brothers are part Jewish, they like to save money.

Three hours later we arrive in Atlanta. We check our bags. I stop and buy one awesome U.S.A. fanny pack that I never wore. A couple hours later and it is time to board. At the time I seen an imaginary line. Once crossing this line there was no turning back. I could get on the plane or not. Before leaving I called my mother like a good little boy, she was crying again, so I’m thinking damn, maybe I shouldn’t get on this plane. That was my choice. Not get on the plane, waste the money I spent, and go back home. Or take a chance, get on the plane, go to Amsterdam, and maybe fall from the sky in a metal tube.

So hell yeah, I got on the plane.

I was a little leery of the takeoff. I had learned by this time that most airplane crashes occur shortly after takeoff and upon landing. So I grabbed my armrests and got ready, it was uneventful, yet scary. From watching movies I heard airline food and the in-flight movies are not great. The movies were right.

Our in-flight movies were Wild Wild West, which is Wild Wild West, no explanation needed. The next movie was Big Daddy. I’m an Adam Sandler fan but Big Daddy just wasn’t good. It didn’t help that I watched the flick a week earlier. The food wasn’t bad. We had a choice of chicken or pasta. I wanted the chicken, I wished for the chicken. The stewardess asked me which I wanted, I said chicken. She said they were out of chicken. I pondered why she even asked.

I couldn’t sleep on the plane, but I could get drunk off the free Heineken. I figured if the plane was to crash it would be my best bet to be drunk. I couldn’t sleep on the plane. Something about closing my eyes and hearing a jet engine doesn’t relax me. I listened to my headphones provided by the airline KLM, “Larger Than Life” by The Backstreet Boys became my in-flight anthem.

The hours ticked by slowly, our little plane on the big screen inched along, across the Atlantic, over Ireland, the United Kingdom. Our pilot informs us we are approaching Schipol airport. We come in for the landing, I pray we don’t crash, we land safely.

Step one complete. I’m now in Amsterdam. The time in Amsterdam is earlier than when we left the states, that will be mind trip one. I wonder what awaits me in this magical city?

Traveling in Cabo San Lucas

Traveling in Cabo San Lucas: What to Do and Where to Go on Your Cabo San Lucas Vacation

Overview

Cabo San Lucas, located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, was, until recently, a simple fishing town. However, in the last two decades interest in this relatively-unknown Mexican city has been building among adventure-seeking tourists, and, as a result, the city has built itself up to encourage and expand this newfound interest. Primarily a destination that caters to tourists looking to experience outdoor adventures, Cabo San Lucas is crawling with sun-ridden activities for its guests to immerse themselves in. The most amazing site to be seen is Land’s End. Here a huge arching rock separates the Cortez Sea from the Atlantic Ocean, and the rocks that surround Land’s End are the home of a local sea lion colony. Daring tourists may want to attempt to cross the rocks to reach the rock arch, but less thrill-seeking visitors may instead choose to arrive at the arch via the boat rides offered by local vendors.

Outdoor Recreation

Around the marina, you’ll find local vendors offering just about every service you could imagine. Here you can sail out into the ocean in a glass-bottom boat, rent a jet-ski, deep-water fish, scuba dive, bungee jump, snorkel, paraglide, or simply sunbathe. For tourists interested in scuba diving and snorkeling, some of the best spots are Pelican Rock, home to several schools of tropical fish, Cabo Pulmo, the location of a large coral reef, and Playa Del Amor, the location of a sand fall that starts at 100 feet below the sea level and drops more than 6500 feet below. For a more relaxing day in the sun, check out one of Cabo San Lucas’ many golf courses. Best of all, from January to March, the Ocean off of the coast of Cabo San Lucas is the home to whales, and visitors can watch them rise and fall in the water, for a price, of course.

Nightlife

The tourist-oriented restaurants and bars are mostly clustered around the marina, so you’re likely to find a wealth of dining and drinking establishments there, though the prices will be inflated because of the location. For a cheaper night out, head to Morelos. In Morelos, you’ll find Mariscos Mocambo, a fresh seafood restaurant that’s popular among both tourists and natives alike. For authentic Mexican cuisine, check out La Perla, Mi Casa, El Patio, and Senor Greenburg’s. To experience a Latin nightclub, the Giggling Martin should be your first stop.